Welcome new readers of The Confluence. We are a merry band of bloggers, exiles by our own choice or our own words, standing on the brink of a new progressive blogosphere. Make yourself at home and join us in solidarity.
- If you haven’t read ronkseattle’s summary of the DailyKos writer’s strike so far, please do. At the heart of this strike is the idea that free speech really should be free. It should not be held hostage to the proprietors of large web sites. As dissenting voices are chased from the marketplace, so are the ideas that go with them. We do not know what the future holds for the political blogosphere but there are hundreds of voices that go unrecognized because their sites do not reach the threshhold level of size. Stay with us as we brainstorm on how to change this model.
- Tom Watson puts his finger on the problem in his post on The Left Splits: Writer’s Flee DailyKos over Clinton Bashing. Here’s the money quote:
The resentment among non-Obama backers is growing rapidly – you can see it in the comments here, and I can see it in my emails. There’s a real split among party activists, and it’s getting wider. Some of it is motivated by the media’s love affair with one candidate – and hatred for the other; Keith Olbermann’s embarassment drove many over the edge. But much of it comes from boorish, Stalinist behavior online – the kind of “you’re either with us or against us” attitude we saw so much of when the Bush crowd was flying high. It’s disturbing, particularly because so many of the targets are women. This is not the Democratic Party many of us have worked for; this is not the progressive blogosphere we’ve supported. Without blaming the worthy candidacy of Senator Obama in any way, this is not a progressive movement – it’s a harsh, echo-filled politburo bathed in faux post-racial hosannas and the gauzy camera lens of “hope.”
This is also the time to note the lack of leadership in the party.
- A funny thing happened on the way out of Macy’s yesterday. I was on the way to my car when I passed two retail assistants talking to one another while on a smoking break. One turned to the other and said, “Yeah, but what about Michigan and Florida?” *ping!* Did I hear that right? Just two average NJ Joe’s standing on the sidewalk in front of Macy’s, dragging on their Camels and talking about delegate counts? Yes, my droogs, they knew the frickin’ delegate counts and they knew which states were important and they knew what was going on. So, as I passed them, I updated them that Michigan was headed for tha do-over but I didn’t think that Florida needed one. One of them burst into howls of laughter while the other just smiled and nodded his head. The laughing one stopped and asked, “So, didn’t Hillary win Florida?” and I told him, “Yes, 1.75 people can’t be wrong. They certainly voted like they knew what they were doing.” He started laughing again and he and his friend went on talking as I went to my car. Now, I don’t know about you, but it is my humble opinion that when the average cashier at Macy’s knows what the score is and who is ahead, it is going to be very difficult to spin the Florida controversy as a win for Obama. This experience is not atypical for what is going on all around me in NJ. When people spot my Hillary button in Starbucks, they start to talk politics like it is second nature. My asian colleagues hash it out with me at lunch. My *sister* who is not a politico, sucks up information like a sponge on this stuff. People are tuned in and are following this like a real horserace. And I think they know what is going on, who is pulling the strings and just how much they can trust the media. Thank you SNL. So, if I may make a recommendation: wear your Hillary button (or Obama button, if you must *sigh*) on your jacket or your backpack or your sleeve when you’re out in public. And don’t be afraid to engage people in political talk. You know what’s going on and can fill in the missing pieces. Listen to what people are saying. Hold back the emotional aspect and just listen. The public is waking up and using its mind. And that is a powerful thing that we need to encourage.
- Oh, give me a BREAK, Josh! How the hell do *you* know Hillary unleashed the Jeremiah Wright stories in the news? Do you have proof? Have you seen the secret drop site somewhere in the DC metropolitan area where an operative from Hillary’s campaign stands, slouched up against a park bench with a package full of already publicly available videos of Wright going off on a tangent? Oo, Oo, maybe there is a balcony somewhere where a geranium is changing position on a daily basis. Will you get real? Anyone could have dragged that stuff out. The Republicans have picked their candidate. The primary season is over for them. They can spend all of the rest of the year picking off our candidates. And it’s not like Obama didn’t share some culpability for his situation. After all, Hillary didn’t force him to associate with Wright for 20 years or include him on his spiritual advisory panel. But so what if Hillary’s campaign *did* whip up this frenzy? Politics is not a tea party. Are you going to come to Obama’s defense every time something negative comes out about him? Can’t he fight his own battles? This is just silly and unworthy of a Polk Award winner. It’s just another example of the Clinton Rules/Obama Rules. Put up or shut up, Josh.